Professor Yvonne Elsworth BSc, PhD, FRAS, FInstP

Engineering and Physical Sciences
Professor of Helioseismology

Contact details

+44 (0) 121 414 4597
+44 (0) 121 414 4601
School of Physics and Astronomy
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Professor Elsworth is active in research in the areas of solar and stellar physics uses their natural oscillations as a measurement tool. Data on the Sun are collected by the international BiSON network which is funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council. Associated research areas of interest are in instrumentation.


  • PhD in Michelson Interferometry for studies of the upper atmosphere of the Earth, Victoria University of Manchester, 1976
  • BSc Hons, Physics, Victoria University of Manchester, 1970


 Yvonne Elsworth obtained a PhD from the Victoria University of Manchester in 1976 for the design and implementation of a novel form of field-widened Michelson Interferometer designed for applications to faint, extended sources like that provided by the optical emission from the neutral thermosphere. Over the next 8 years many of the ideas developed during the PhD were applied to diverse problems including the rapid fluctuations in light from cataclysmic variable stars, wave from testing for high powered lasers and also technology transfer when Perkin Elmer decided to move into the field of interferometers in the near infrared.  

An appointment In 1984 to the permanent academic staff in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Birmingham caused a change of direction in the research. From that time, the focus has been helioseismology and latterly asteroseismology of solar-like and red-giant stars.


  • Y1 personal academic tutor
  • Y3 Life and Death of Stars
  • Y3 Group Study on Planet Finding and Asteroseismology
  • Y3 Pastoral supervision
  • Y4 Life and Death of Stars

Postgraduate supervision

  •  Supervision of research PhDs in asteroseismology and helioseismology




Solar Physics, Solar Variability


Stellar Physics, Stellar Variability

Other activities

  • REF physics panel member (2011- )
  • Royal Astronomical Society Council (2011- )
  • REF Pilot Study of Impact – member of the Physics Panel (2010)
  • STFC – PPAN strategy for Particle and Nuclear Physics and Astronomy (2007 – 2011)
  • Royal Astronomical Society membership Committee (2007 – )
  • US Solar Observatory Council (2008 – )
  • Oversight committee for the Kiepenheuer-Institut für Sonnenphysik in Freiburg, Germany (2010 – )



 Chaplin, W. J., et al. (over 50 authors) (2011), Ensemble asteroseismology of solar-type stars with the NASA Kepler Mission, Science, 332, 213

Bedding, T (34 co-authors) (2011), Gravity modes as a way to distinguish between hydrogen- and helium-burning red giant stars Nature, 471 , 608-611

Mosser, B.; Belkacem, K.; Goupil, M. J.; Michel, E.; Elsworth, Y.; and 11 coauthors (2011), Astronomy and Astrophysics, 525, 9-

Hekker, S.; Elsworth, Y and 11 co-authors (2011), Astronomy and Astrophysics, 525, 121-